Texans coach DeMeco Ryans seeks to bring winners to change culture
For DeMeco Ryans, it begins with people.
The 38-year-old is tasked with resurfacing the scuttled Houston Texans, who have endured three consecutive double-digit losing seasons and fallen to the bottom of the AFC South. In order to change the culture, Ryans knows he will need quality individuals in place.
“It’s bringing in guys who have been part of winning programs,” Ryans told reporters March 27 at the NFL owners meeting in Phoenix. “Those guys establishing how do winners practice, how do winners work in the weight room, how do winners handle themselves off the field, and when you add those guys to your team, that’s how the culture continues to change.”
One of the “winners” that the Texans have brought in is safety Jimmie Ward. Not only was Ward with Ryans throughout his development as an assistant coach starting in 2017 with the San Francisco 49ers, but the former 2014 first-round pick was part of the Niners’ collapse during the Jim Harbaugh era, the morass of the Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly one-season stints, and the rise of the Kyle Shanahan reign.
Ward has seen it all, and having the 31-year-old in the locker room would be a good example for the existing and future young talent that will be added after the 2023 NFL draft.
Said Ryans: “You come in, you add younger college guys, draft guys or undrafted free agents, and they just fall underneath that leadership of the guys that we’ve added, so, is there something grand, and it’s about the culture change, it’s about the people.”
The Texans don’t just have former lieutenants of Ryans joining the team to provide examples of hard work paying off. The Texans also traded for former Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Shaq Mason, who was also part of two Super Bowl-winning teams with the New England Patriots from 2015-21.
“If we bring the right people in who have the right work ethic, the right mindset, that’s how the culture starts to shift, and that’s how we build a winning program,” Ryans said.
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